Word of the Day

Word of the day

Friday, November 06, 2020

garboil

[ gahr-boil ]

noun

Archaic.

confusion.

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What is the origin of garboil?

Garboil is the perfect word: it sounds exactly like its meaning, “confusion.” Garboil comes via Middle French garbouille (16th century) “confused mess,” whose further etymology is uncertain. Italian has garbuglio, charbuglio (15th century) “confused mess,” but etymologists are not convinced. Past that lies confusion: garboil has been associated with garble “to confuse, jumble”; no one is happy with that, either. Garboil entered English in the first half of the 16th century.

how is garboil used?

Assuring your grace, that being this country in such garboil as it is, I would be loath to adventure to go to my Lord of Angus with any conduct that he would appoint me, unless the king’s pleasure be that I shall so do.

Sir Ralph Sadler, Sir Ralph Sadler to Lord of Suffolk, November 29, 1543, in Letters and Negotiations of Sir Ralph Sadler, 1720

The trolley officials of the Auburn & Syracuse Electric R. R. and the motormen and the conductors are still in a garboil over the final settlement of a wage increase demand despite the fact that several conferences have been held between them but each with little success …

"Officials and Carmen Still Clinch," The Cayuga Chief, April 23, 1920

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Word of the day

Thursday, November 05, 2020

perfervid

[ per-fur-vid ]

adjective

very fervent; extremely ardent; impassioned.

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What is the origin of perfervid?

The English adjective perfervid comes from New Latin perfervidus. Perfervidus does not in fact occur in earlier Latin even though it is formed perfectly properly: The usual Latin adjective, not common, is praefervidus. The root word of perfervidus (and praefervidus) is the adjective fervidus, which by itself already means “scalding hot, burning” even without a prefix. Fervidus is a derivative of the verb fervēre “to boil,” a Latin derivative of the very complicated Proto-Indo-European root bh(e)reu-, bh(e)ru “to boil, bubble.” This root also has a reduced form bher– that is extended by a w-suffix, thus bherw-, the exact source of fervēre. The variant bherw– is also the source of Middle Irish berbaim “I cook, boil,” Welsh berwi “to seethe, simmer.” The prefixes prae– and per– are frequently used as intensifiers of adjectives and verbs: Latin has percārus “very dear,” performāre “to form thoroughly,” and praeclārus “very famous.” Greek offers the spectacular example in the proper name Periklês “very famous,” from the preposition, adverb, and intensive prefix peri, and –klês, from –kléēs, from –kléwēs, a derivative of the noun kléos, also kléwos “glory.” Perfervid entered English in the first half of the 19th century.

how is perfervid used?

The fate of The Thorn Birds will certainly not hang on literary merit. With the broadest strokes and the most perfervid prose, the novel traces three generations of the Cleary family ….

Paul Gray, "Shaking the Money Tree," Time, May 9, 1977

But you have to watch Eileen. She sees things through the haze of a rather perfervid imagination. She sees this house, I’m sure, as it ought to be and Mrs. Wardell as a sort of Gainsborough duchess. She won’t see the show-off. The bad proportions of the hall. The excess of. glass in the chandelier.

Louis Auchincloss, The Great World and Timothy Colt, 1956

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Word of the day

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

tarriance

[ tar-ee-uhns ]

noun

Archaic.

delay.

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What is the origin of tarriance?

Tarriance “delay,” a derivative of the fairly common verb tarry and the familiar noun suffix –ance, first appears in Middle English in the first half of the 15th century. In case you were longing for the Middle Ages, when everything was slow, easy, and laid-back, one of the first citations of tarriance comes from the Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls (1430) and reads “William shall paye to..Robt..without tariance..x li,” i.e., ten pounds, a very considerable sum. Tarriance in the sense of “temporary stay, sojourn” does not appear till the first half of the 16th century.

how is tarriance used?

Come, answer not, but to it presently; I am impatient of my tarriance.

William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1623

After much tarriance, much debate, / The good gods leave them to their fate.

Susan Coolidge, "The Legend of Kintu," Verses, 1880

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